436 Kms from Bremerhaven
I have always been in awe of wooden windmills, from the first time I, as a child, attempted to paint a Dutch country side with a windmills-dotted skyline to the time when I visited a windmill-turned-brewery (Browerij’t IJ) in Amsterdam on my student trip in 2011. My short time in Amsterdam had not given me the scope to visit any other windmills around the area and my awe persisted. In my recent Euro-trip, I decided to get a closure on my infatuation and visit the Dutch countryside teeming with these imposing wooden structures. The visit turned out to be much more than windmills and alas, my love for the Dutch countryside continues…In Netherlands, there are two very popular neighborhoods which have been protected and preserved to display the Dutch way of living and trades and crafts from rural Netherlands. One is Kinderdijk (near Rotterdam) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other is Zaanse Schans (near Amsterdam). We decided on Zaanse Schans because it was easier for us travel-wise. We took a bus from Stuttgart to Amsterdam and then bought an Amsterdam & Region Travel Pass, which covers a lot of neighborhoods around Amsterdam including the famous Keukenhof tulip gardens and Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is a short 45 mins trip from Amsterdam Central by bus.We had booked an Airbnb accommodation in Zaandijk, very close to the site of Zaanse Schaans. After freshening up, we took our bicycles and made our way to the site. It was very windy and our hair was windswept. As we neared the place, a strong odour accosted us. We were to find out later that it was the emissions from the chocolate and starch factories in the region.We had a preconceived picture of a few windmills and wooden houses that we would get to see at the site. But the scene that welcomed us transported us immediately to the industrial age in Netherlands. It is like an open-air museum with bakery, cheese factory, clog-making warehouse and wooden houses with barns and working-windmills on the banks of river Zaan that flows in the area. It indeed looked like a painting.
430 Kms from Bremerhaven
Ticket to Tomorrowland - Where there's a will, there's a way, kind of beautifulAfter my solo trip to Bali, Indonesia in April, I made up my mind that I am going to Tomorrowland this year and will explore other official ticket partners even if I have to go for solo trip again. I got 2-3 options and finalized one on the basis of reliability, price and package they were providing. My bus package was starting from Amsterdam from there they gave me treasure box (official ticket) in the bus and dropped me and other festival goers in the front gate of camping at Tomorrowland in Boom, Brussels.
158 Kms from Bremerhaven
Napping in one of the DB trains to Hamburg was a good ride for a long day to explore and know. St. Micheal's Church and its story was first on my list. Followed by Stadpark, Hamburg. Attending mini concerts at the fish market. And spent my other half of the day at Moenckebergstrasse and around the city central. Town's best chicken burger at Burgerlich was a must try!
58 Kms from Bremerhaven
I felt that the possibilities were endless. If I could see a brightly lit world at midnight, the world surely had to be a magical place.__I came to Bremen in August 2014 as an exchange student from India, with little money and too much hope. And I left 5 months later feeling like a burned out matchstick - dazed over the loss of fire and hugging the leftover heat. It changed my life. Traveling is supposed to do that. But perhaps this trip broke something that defined me. Crushed my soul. Let me take this blogpost to explain why.__I grew up loving maps and atlases. I never felt at home amongst the coconut trees and sunny skies of Kerala. I fantasized of running away. Spent hours every night at my window wishing I could fly out through the gap in the bars. I read and reread all my Enid Blyton novels, imagining myself shuffling through the snow, sipping ginger beer and fitting in. You might have felt this too. This yearning to escape. It is beyond curiosity, it becomes the reason to live. And as I grew older and the fantasies became marred by the logic of physics, I went into claustrophobic panic attacks looking at the iron bars on that window. I had to escape.I found my way soon enough and my dream came true. Perhaps too soon.__As I boarded the flight to Bremen, my heart pounded and I wept. And as I was shown my quaint hostel room with it’s white walls and gigantic window, I couldn’t contain myself.We (my co-exchange students) soon set out to explore. From long supermarket aisles to the dew-grazed flowers on the roadsides to the ancient streets of Schnoor (more on Schnoor later). The air smelt like buns, not smoke. The buses came sharp on time and my co-passengers were all excitingly unique. I bought ginger beer and relished the wait for the first snow. And as summer wound to a slow close, we got bicycles, frequented a lonely park and enjoyed the bright nights from my window sill. Bremen, you see, was perfect. It was small, exciting and full of ancient wonders in it’s city centre.